Western Australia’s largest PV project now operational


From pv magazine Australia

Risen Energy’s 132 MW (DC) Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australia is now up and running. It is the state’s largest operational PV project.

The project is located on 460 hectares of former farming and grazing country adjacent to the 220 kV Western Power Merredin Terminal. It features 354,452 solar PV panels and has an expected output of 274 GWh of electricity annually, approximately enough to power 42,000 Western Australian homes.

After the staged live commissioning was initiated in April, Risen worked closely with the network service provider, Western Power, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) through the process.

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The project broke ground in March last year and once construction began at full throttle it progressed rapidly towards completion. According to Risen, Merredin has been one of the fastest builds of a solar farm ever seen in Australia, with the mechanical completion achieved in just three months in collaboration with WA’s Monford Group.

Risen Energy will initially go merchant on the Merredin Solar Farm and will reportedly try to secure a power purchase agreement further down the line. The developer’s other project in Australia – the Yarranlea Solar Farm in Queensland – will also operate on a merchant basis. This project has added an advanced energy storage system developed by the University of New South Wales  (UNSW) – a hybrid of lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, with DC loss detection technology – to tackle the duck curve.

The Merredin and Yarranlea solar farms are part of the Chinese company’s ambitious plans to acquire more than 2 GW of solar projects in Australia.

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